PHOTOS BY ASHLEY BOARDMAN
Some days, you just want a great hamburger. There’s something about the combination of ground beef and a bun that hits the spot, no questions asked. On those days, turn your attention to Bar 145° to find one of the best burgers in town. The restaurant, which takes its name from the optimal temperature for a medium rare hamburger, specializes in burger building and takes its craft seriously. Offering a selection of classic options for those who just want something familiar, Bar 145° provides a great no-fuss option for a solid lunch or dinner.
If you really love exploring the intricacies and limits of what a hamburger can be, that’s where Bar 145° excels! With the Stack Your Own burger option, you can become a Dagwood Bumstead of sorts, switching out toppings in order to build the hamburger of your dreams. Featuring an assortment of buns, cheeses, sauces, veggies and speciality items including pork belly, duck confit, fruit preserves and pulled beef cheek, you can stack your meal as high as your budget allows. It’s a fantastic (and dangerous) option to have, especially when you’re dining out with some big appetites. And there are an assortment of good, fresh options available if it isn’t a “hamburger kind of day.”
The brainchild of Jeremy Fitzgerald and George Simon, Bar 145°, which opened in May of 2011, brings the fun of Fitzgerald’s bar/restaurant upbringing on Put-in-Bay Island to Toledo. “My family owns bars on Put-in-Bay. I grew up on Put-in-Bay and ran Mr. Ed’s and the Commodore Hotel. I started working there when I was 13 years old. I started at the bottom, doing dishes, worked in the kitchen for three to four years, was a server, tended bar… but mainly, I wanted to learn the business. I went to college, got a hospitality degree at Bowling Green, and bought a Subway franchise on Put-in-Bay because I wanted to see how a corporate restaurant was run.”
Fitzgerald wanted a family though and, as he termed it, “I couldn’t stay married if I stayed on Put-in-Bay.” He came mainland and found the ideal spot to open his restaurant, partnering up with the owner of the space, Simon, a Put-in-Bay regular, to make it a reality. “Basic bar food taken to the next level is what I wanted,” says Fitzgerald. “It’s not your basic mac and cheese; we add maple syrup and bacon to it.”
The duo, who has since opened several other Bar 145° restaurants around the region, has found the secret to success with their gourmet ingredients served in an environment that’s welcoming to a “business class” diner. “[My thought was] Toledo needs a business clientele bar/restaurant, that really targeted more the business professional— not the college people, not the sports people. I just wanted something different,” Fitzgerald said.
Aside from the burgers, Bar 145°’s other major draw is their bourbons. The bar’s liquor menu is stacked with over 40 bourbon selections, and for the international whiskey enthusiast, there’s another 40 or so ryes, scotches, irish blends and more. This place knows their grain drinks and the pours are fair. And if you’re into live music, the stage, in the evening, is seldom empty. “We do full bands Fridays and Saturdays, but we have music Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday,” Fitzgerald assures us.
If you want to feel really nostalgic, Bar 145° has opened their version of a bar arcade, Reset, next door. Full of classic games like Space Invaders, Pac-Man, The Simpsons and more, this allows you to bring the grandkids in for a little fun on their own, or you can play right alongside them.
As Fitzgerald explains, “It’s not just a restaurant; Bar 145° is an experience.” And it’s an experience you should definitely try for yourself— especially the Bourbon Cookie Skillet Sundae.
Sweet Chili Sauce
Makes 64 1 Ounce Portions
This sauce is house-made at Bar 145, along with over a dozen others, for use as a topping or dipping accompaniment.
Worchestershire 4 cups
Tomato puree 3 cup pureed and strained
Garlic cloves 1Tbl Finely chopped
White onion 1⁄4 cup finely chopped
Celery salt 1 Tsp
Ground mustard 1 Tsp
Sea Salt 1 Tsp
Black Pepper 1 Tsp
Brown Sugar 1⁄4 cup
Parsley 1 tbl finely chopped
In a small stock pot bring the all the
ingredients to a rolling boil and cook for
10 minutes. At this point add a corn
starch slurry to thicken.
Corn Starch Slurry
3 tbl Corn starch
1⁄2 cup water
Mix together completely.
1 lb. thinly-sliced mushrooms
Slowly add the slurry to thicken (you may not need to add all of it). Let the sauce begin to boil again to see how thick it gets. You are looking for the consistency of Maple syrup. Refrigerate and check the thickness again. Should the sauce be to thick slowly bring it to a boil again and slowly add warm water to thin down.
Should the sauce be too thin bring it to a boil again and add a little more slurry slowly to re-thicken.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 Days.
Bar 145° in Toledo is located at 5305 Monroe St.
Open 11:30am-2am Monday through Sunday.
419-593-0073 | bar145toledo.com